Vocabualry

3 important things every educator should know about vocab

1. Academic language must must introduced and reinforced.

Academic language is the language of school and it is used in textbooks, essays, assignments, class presentations, assessments, and professional settings. Academic language is used at all grade levels, although its frequency increases as students get older.


HOW TO IMPLEMENT IN THE CLASSROOM:


  1. Preview the text or topic and identify vocabulary or sentence structures that might be new for the students. Most times these words are Tier 2 words. Click here for an informative article about how to choose words to teach.
  2. Use visuals, acting, translation or synonyms to relay the meaning of the word to the students.
  3. Have students demonstrate the vocabulary concepts by using them in explanations, drawing pictures in their journals, or acting them out (see video below).

Students participates in dramatic vocabulary

Dramatic Vocabulary: Introducing Action Words

2. Students should begin to use academic language in their work and dialogue regularly.

It is no secret that educators should use academic language during and outside of instruction as a means of modeling. Hearing these words in dialogue increases the chances that students will begin to use these words. One indication that students are really learning vocabulary words is seeing their use in students' writing samples and oral language.


HOW TO IMPLEMENT IN THE CLASSROOM:


Introduce summary/sentence frames

Ex.

The author thinks/believes/argues that _____________________________.

Based on ________________, I can infer that ___________________________.


OR


Provide students with resources and activities that help translate non-academic vocabulary into academic vocabulary.

Ex.

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3. Support independent reading!

Reading provides students with rich, useful and diverse vocabulary in context. Educators should provide students with books, articles, magazines, etc, that encompasses many different genres. Allowing students to choose the genre of their independent reading book encourages students to read more often and creates life long readers.


HOW TO IMPLEMENT IN THE CLASSROOM:


  • Allow students to choose books they would like to read and discuss.
  • Introduce literature circles to students and allow them to participate in them often (once/week).
  • Allow students to produce a project that demonstrates what they have been reading about, unfamiliar vocabulary they have encountered, or even connections they have made between text & real life situations (in groups or individually).

Click here for a list of books you can recommend to your students. Allow them to explore different genres or challenge themselves by selecting a book on a higher reading level.